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Gerald McCoy says he’s ready to lead, playing defensive end stunted growth

Falcons running back Turner runs for a touchdown past  Buccaneers defensive tackle  McCoy in the first half of their NFL football game in Atlanta AP

After an uneven rookie year that included a slow start, considerable second half progress, and then a serious injury, Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy says he’s ready to lead.

The No. 3 overall pick in last year’s draft wants to take the next step in his development.

“It’s not a problem,” McCoy told the Tampa Tribune recently. “I was raised to be a leader.”

The Bucs have an exciting young group of defensive linemen with McCoy, Brian Price, Roy Miller, and this year’s first two picks Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers added to the mix.  The best way McCoy can lead is to produce.  He said last year that flip-flopping between end and defensive tackle slowed him down.

“My first snap as an NFL player against Cleveland, I didn’t even play [tackle],” McCoy said. “I was an end. I was moving all around. So, finally, I just said to Coach, ‘Man, please let me play one position so I can learn it.’ . . .  After that, things started working for me and I took that tape and (looked) at what I was doing right and I just built off of that. And that’s what I’ve been doing this offseason.”

Without the NFC West on their out of division schedule, the Bucs will have to play much better this year to finish 10-6 again.  Getting a big second year leap from McCoy would help a great deal.

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18 Responses to “Gerald McCoy says he’s ready to lead, playing defensive end stunted growth”
  1. ac0117 says: Jul 11, 2011 12:01 PM

    That should eventually be a nasty D-line… the key for the bucs is how quickly all their young players can put it together, especially McCoy. He’s very talented but was not as quick to pick up things as Suh.

  2. ac0117 says: Jul 11, 2011 12:02 PM

    Wanted to add that they got the steal of the draft in Da’quan Bowers… dude is unblockable if healthy

  3. wannabeqb says: Jul 11, 2011 12:05 PM

    @ac0117

    Thats a pretty big if judging by his slide in the draft

  4. suhnami says: Jul 11, 2011 12:26 PM

    thank god the lions took suh instead of gerald “coach please play me at one position so I can learn :( ” mccoy. hey gerald – suh has played the 1, 3, and 5 technique as a DT, DE, and oh yea LINEBACKER in his rookie season and didn’t cry about it hahahaha. so much for the “1a/1b” description of suh/mccoy

  5. hobartbaker says: Jul 11, 2011 12:35 PM

    Stunted his growth, they wanted him down to around 300 pounds to play DE.

  6. woodyg says: Jul 11, 2011 12:41 PM

    The ‘real’ Bucs will emerge in 2011 …… The quality of your opponents has a huge impact on the bottom-line record ….. Look for the Bucs to take a step backwards (record wise) in 2011 …… They may be hard pressed to finish 8-8 ……

  7. kusheadpotman says: Jul 11, 2011 12:41 PM

    Roy Miller is not one of our good players, he’s going to get cut. Expect Tim Crowder or Frank Okam (he is HUGE!) to take his place.

    And all the Suh lovers out there can shove it. Suh is a one-of-a-kind manbeast. I expect great things from McCoy, if he doesn’t come out this season with big numbers I’ll be surprised. I’m glad you guys landed a great talent though, praying the season starts on time so we can see who comes out on top game 1

  8. jjzimmpa says: Jul 11, 2011 12:45 PM

    There are a few things wrong with this picture. McCoy was drafted 3rd overall to improve a Buccs defense, not to just play the 3T in the Tampa Two.

    It is up to Coach Morris and his staff to put McCoy in the best position to make the defense successful. But before even a full season (week 1?) McCoy complained about how he was being used in the defense?

    Morris then listened to the player and decided to play him where McCoy felt more comfortable to play. A few small sublte red flags for a player drafted in the same draft class as the versatile DT Suh (Played DT, NT, LE, RE and even Linebacker).

    This season Morris should have more options at Defensive End but just the show of character from McCoy should raise a few eyebrows among the coaching staff.

  9. simplesimon1 says: Jul 11, 2011 1:48 PM

    I’m a Lions fan and obviously love how Suh has turned out early. I said all along that I thought he was a better player with a much bigger potential impact.

    That said, don’t take anything away from McCoy. It’s early in his career and he’ll be a good one as well. I expect him to have a good year with talent around him increasing.

    Looking forward to week one (hopefully it’ll happen) as well as you are kusheadpotman!!! I think it’s going to be a good game. No excuses this time though…:)

  10. tatmanfish says: Jul 11, 2011 1:56 PM

    LMAO! the article cherry picks comment and someone thinks McCoys character is in question?

    McCoy is a class act and had a good year for a rookie DT…not all of it showed up in the stat collumn. McCoy spent the first few games lining up all over the place which is difficult for a rookie DT(Suh may be a once in a lifetime/decade type player). he had pressure and QB hits, but no sacks. They simplified his role and he started to produce stats and wreak havoc before his injury.

    Suh also had talent around him while McCoy was the only linemen on his team that commanded attention(White, Miller, and Moore…you get extra credit if you even know who they are if your not a Bucs fan) which also slowed his production. Suh has a rediculous rookie year and everyone seems to forget it take most players more than a few games to learn a single position, let alone playing all over the line.

    Either way, the last thing in question is McCoys character. Guy has been the ideal teammate, player, and leader. If you think otherwise youre just clueless.

  11. irisht53 says: Jul 11, 2011 2:11 PM

    @ suhnami & jjzimmpa:

    Regarding the “versatile” Suh, keep in mind he had some good players around him, particularly on the D-line, that could draw the heat whenever he wasn’t lined up in the 1 or 3 technique. Suh was placed at DE and LB to exploit one-on-one match-ups.

    No matter where McCoy lined up, he was drawing the double team because the rest of the line was just not that good. So you cannot blame the guy, that if he’s going to draw a double team all day, he figures he might as well be in the best position to beat it, which he felt was the 3 Technique.

    Suh was clearly the better player last year, however I think time will tell that the Bucs did not make a mistake in drafting McCoy #3 overall.

  12. simplesimon1 says: Jul 11, 2011 2:44 PM

    @irisht53 and tatmanfish:

    If you read my earlier post please understand I’m not trying to tell you McCoy isn’t good with this next post. In fact, I like McCoy and think he’ll be a very good player. I also don’t think the Bucs made any mistake taking him in the draft. He’s a great player with a great character.

    That being said, I’m sorry man, but barring injury Suh is a lot better than McCoy. People always point to the players Suh had around him. Funny…..Before Suh got there, Williams was a throw off from another team (many laughed at the Lions for picking him up at all), KVB was considered too old and you would have been hard pressed to find anybody outside Lions fans who knew or appreciated who Cliff Avril was. The players around Suh had not excelled recently until Suh got there.

    He was doubled nearly every snap from scrimmage, sometimes tripled, played the entire year with a bad shoulder, and was very versatile in every and any scheme drawn up for him. The others on the line were better because of Suh’s presence, not the other way around.

    Another way I know this….When Avril and KVB went down or came out of games, Suh was still double teamed and players like McBride still flourished. He also played a higher percentage of snaps than any other defensive player last year.

    I like McCoy but it’s hilarious to try to compare what McCoy did, or believe he will do in the future, with what Suh did last year. It reminds me a bit of what happened prior to the draft. Nobody could point to any one stat ever that could put McCoy ahead of Suh, but everybody tried to. It’s still being tried now.

    Time will tell for sure. But easily, the competition is not even close at this point. And considering Suh has been playing football for a very short period of time and still is learning, that is one scary proposition to make…..he may not have even tapped into his potential yet…wow!!!!

  13. kingbuccaneer says: Jul 11, 2011 2:57 PM

    woodyg says:
    Jul 11, 2011 12:41 PM
    The ‘real’ Bucs will emerge in 2011 …… The quality of your opponents has a huge impact on the bottom-line record ….. Look for the Bucs to take a step backwards (record wise) in 2011 …… They may be hard pressed to finish 8-8 ……

    —————————————————-

    Real Bucs, huh? They have the lowest payroll BY A LOT and the youngest team in the league but also SMASHED two playoff teams in week 16 and 17. Last time I checked, the NFL is now a QB driven league and we have one of the best young talents in the entire league. As long as J Free is healthy, we WILL be a consistent 10 + win team for many years to come…

  14. silkyjohnson937 says: Jul 11, 2011 4:08 PM

    Why are you guys comparing suh to mccoy??? its not like the bucs passed on suh to take mccoy hey and to all the lions fans talking trash how has stafford panned out for you so far cuz let me tell you im liking josh freeman, also one last note all the people listing all the different positions suh lined up at dont forget he kicked an extra point, he missed it, but it was close

  15. Soulman45 says: Jul 11, 2011 4:39 PM

    A hold year to pick up the defense something is wrong maybe they should cut the play book back till the team catch up.

  16. simplesimon1 says: Jul 11, 2011 4:39 PM

    silkyjohnson937:

    It’s going to happen, comparing of Suh and McCoy. I know you don’t like it, and both will be good players, but it’s just the way it works.

    Next, every single time any story breaks on the Lions the room fills up with people from the Bucs bashing the Lions, so I guess it works both ways sometimes. I would also say, so far you’re absolutely correct that injuries have made the competition between Stafford and Freeman pretty easy to decide. As many of you say about Suh and McCoy, the future will tell who ends up being better. If Stafford stays healthy, we’re all very happy to have his leadership and talent in Detroit just as you are to have Freeman, period.

    See you week one.

  17. granadafan says: Jul 11, 2011 7:34 PM

    I find nothing wrong with McCoy’s attitude or his accomplishments. In fact he had a fantastic rookie year that was only overshadowed by a once-in-a-generation beast. McCoy will have another fine year, and it sounds like he’s raising the level of his teammates.

  18. tatmanfish says: Jul 14, 2011 11:07 AM

    simplesimon:
    I like McCoy but it’s hilarious to try to compare what McCoy did, or believe he will do in the future, with what Suh did last year.
    …………………………………………………………………

    dude, your the one comparing them, not us. You spent most of your post defending Suh when no one said anything negative about him. Simply that he has more talent around him which is FACT. Castaways or not, they were better than the Bucs starters. Hence why Tampa had invested 4 of their first 4 pick on the D-line the last 2 years.

    Not that its relevant to any of this, but McCoy was double teamed all year as well. He was the only guy on the line teams had to worry about as well. Not sure why any of this was pertinent, but you responded with some double team garbage for Suh…figured Id let you in on the obvious as you did for us.

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